HORSE RACING: It should be a grand National at Huntingdon

Rocky Bender (right) won the Cambridgeshire National last year.

Rocky Bender (right) won the Cambridgeshire National last year.

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The world famous Grand National at Aintree is just a few weeks away but racing fans can enjoy the 188Bet Cambridgeshire National at Huntingdon on Sunday (March 5).

First run in the autumn of 2013, this will be the fourth £25,000 188Bet Cambridgeshire National, a race run over three and three-quarter miles.

Soudain won the inaugural contest and was runner-up in the second. The first March running of the race was won in 2016 by trainer Venetia Williams’ Rocky Bender.

The big race is part of a bumper day of jump racing and fun for all the family, with Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day.

Add to that an additional eighth race – the rescheduled £30,000 Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase which was lost last week due to Storm Doris - and a fabulous afternoon’s sport and entertainment is in prospect.

There’s lots of free entertainment too, including a face painter, large bouncy castle, large inflatable slide, giant game sets, bungee run game and soft play.

The afternoon out is value for money for families, with an advance £20 ‘Big Family Fun Package’ offering two adult and four child tickets into the Main Enclosure along with two sweet bags.

Liam Johnson, general manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “Visitors to the opening Sunday fixture of 2017 at Huntingdon Racecourse this weekend will really get to enjoy the best of both worlds – tremendous jump racing plus lots of off-course family entertainment, highlighted by Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol.

“We’re delighted to be hosting the fourth 188Bet Cambridgeshire National which will whet the appetite of spectators for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April. And there is the bonus of the high quality Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase which is rescheduled from last week.”

Adult tickets bought in advance are just £12 (£16 on the day). Tickets are on sale at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or on 0844 579 3007. Accompanied children aged 17 years and under are admitted free of charge. Young adults, aged 18 to 24 years, can get half-price admission by registering at RacePass18to24.co.uk to receive a free RacePass membership card. Senior citizens can obtain discounted admission by joining The Diamond Club, with details available online.

Racing is between 2pm and 5.30pm, with gates open from 12 noon.